Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Proud of ‘Ya January 26, 2015

I never met the man, but from what I hear he was pretty special. He was smart. He was stubborn (in good ways as much as bad). And he was a good dad to my dear forever mom. He left for heaven a few years ago, which was far too soon in the opinion of those who knew and loved him. Be What You Believe

But like most of those beloved friends and family members looking down on us from heaven, he makes his appearances from time to time. Today it happened when my mom reminisced with dad over dinner about something her father used to say. Dad told mom he was proud of her for her recent blogging efforts.

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but she’s a writer too. And recently she’s just started writing posts for an exciting new web site called LadiesLife.com. After less than a week, the posts she’s written are doing incredibly well, which has been a source of celebration around my forever home.

“Proud of ya,” her father used to say, in a teasing and slightly-deeper-than-usual voice. It was kind of an inside joke for her and her family growing up, one she shared with dad tonight. I’m not sure how, but it was like he read my mind when as he responded to her, saying exactly what I wished I could say.

“You know he’d be so proud of you, right?” he said. “And not just for your writing, but for being such a great mom.”

I knew tears would likely come next, but I also knew they weren’t the bad kind.

I never met the man, but from what I hear he was pretty special. He was smart. He was stubborn (in good ways as much as bad). And he was a good dad to my dear forever mom. I know she misses him sometimes more than others. I also know tonight was one of those times. But I also know what my forever dad said was true. Her father would be so proud of her. And, when it comes to missing someone, knowing that means an awful lot.

Check out the LadiesLife.com posts here:

http://ladieslife.com/7-things-no-one-told-you-about-being-pregnant/

http://ladieslife.com/think-youre-ready-bring-baby-home/

 

Nothing Nice To Say November 2, 2014

It doesn’t happen often. But sometimes, when I hear a really good story, it’s not actually good in the traditional sense of the term. Instead, it is one of those stories that makes you think, that challenges you to read beyond the words and find the meaning. To find the morale of the story.

It happened again today when I heard a friend of dad’s tell him about a horrible date he went on last night. I know what you’re thinking and it’s not what you think. This friend got divorced a few years ago, and is the proud parent of a beautiful eight-year-old girl. Sunshine

As such, he has her artwork and other crafts displayed throughout his house out of respect for the time they spend together. I’m talking everything from tie-dye artwork to play dough dresses for her dolls. These things mean a lot to him, and therefore have a prominent presence in his place even when she is not there with him. Especially when she is not there with him.

Apparently the date distastefully showed disinterest in the artwork, telling dad’s friend he was going overboard. He was overcompensating. But that’s not what he heard. He heard her attacking his parenting skills, and it left him cold.

I can only go from stories I hear mom and dad share, but from what I know this man is a spectacular dad to his daughter. They go on adventures together, play games and make memories doing things like talking with a British accent at Walgreens just for fun. And he loves her bigger than the sky.

It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes when I hear a good story the content itself isn’t that great. In these cases it’s the lesson taken from it that brings it to life.

The lesson I take from today’s story is simple. My response to this woman, and others like her, is the communication version of the Golden Rule. If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. It’s better that way, especially when what you’re saying isn’t just inaccurate. It is so far from reality, yet that doesn’t make it any bit less painful to the person hearing it. Think before you speak, people. It’s that easy.

 

 

Meet the Parents June 14, 2014

I can’t say I’m surprised. I know from my own experiences what kind of parents my people can be. The process of adopting me wasn’t an easy one, practically or emotionally. But they did it anyway. Welcoming me into their home was certainly a challenge (especially for dad, who had no prior experience with dogs). But they brought me in with open arms. I’m not always the easiest dog to train. But I have a big heart.

All of this came to mind today as both of them, both of my dear forever parents, paused to play with me like they used to. Don’t get me wrong – this is not the first time this has happened since dear baby Carter was born. But it is one night that will always stick out in my mind as pretty darned special anyway. Sometimes it’s the littlest things that can do this to you.

For me, it was hearing dad say how hard I would be to replace someday. Sure, it sounds awfully morbid. And I’m not going to pretend it didn’t break my heart a little. But mostly I felt honored. Happy. Proud Familyto call these people my family. For as long (or as short) as I may be with them – it doesn’t matter to me because I know in my heart that I love them with all of my little doggie heart and soul every day I live.

“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us,” said one of mom’s favorite American authors John Grogan. “It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.”

I’m not shy about my hope that my people choose to adopt their “replacement” for me before I’m gone. That way I can teach him or her the ropes before going away to doggie heaven to watch over everyone. Though it does get a little sad to think about such things, today I felt joy. Today I felt pride.

Because I can’t say I’m surprised at what amazing parents my people are. They’ve been all I ever could have dreamed of for me, and the same is true watching them care for Carter. So it might sound crazy because I do get a lot less love fests than I used to. But today I felt the deepest and sincerest pride for my beloved parents. They are the best parents a dog could ever ask for, and it is an honor to be the dog striving to bring love and joy to their already blessed lives.

 

Mind Over Matter January 14, 2014

We thought we were so smart. Reading all those books, blogs and message boards. Doing all that research. Getting the nursery ready. Well, mom did at least. I knew better. I knew that baby Carter would write his own book. And he has not disappointed.

Me and My BuddyHis nights and days are flip flopped. Sometimes he cries when there is nothing to cry about. And then he smiles in his sleep about who knows what. I’ll be honest. I know nothing about babies. Absolutely nothing, other than what I’ve heard my forever mom and dad discuss between themselves, and the odds and ends advice they’ve gotten from the visitors in the last couple of weeks.

But I do know this. From what I can tell, my dear little person is every bit of the blessing I knew he would be. He is strong. He is healthy. He sleeps enough. Mom and dad love him. He’s pretty darned great. And I’m proud of him. I’m proud to call him my puppy brother.

I was thinking about this today as we had more visitors who had all kinds of advice for mom. I watched as she soaked it in. I saw the determination in her eyes as she even put a couple of the tips into action at bedtime tonight. She wants so badly to do everything right.

And I want so badly to tell her she can’t. She will mess up. I know because she made her fair share of mistakes with me (don’t tell her I told you). But look at me. I turned out all right. And Carter will too.

As British politician Sir Winston Churchill suggested “success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” It doesn’t matter what all those books, blogs and message boards say. Mom won’t do everything right. But she has courage. That’s what matters to me.

 

Pride: Angel or Demon? February 15, 2013

Pluto may not be the sharpest tool in the Disney vault, but there is something to be said of his decision-making skills. He often consulted with the angel over one shoulder that refuted the devil on the other. Both would present their reasoning and wait for Pluto to weigh the evidence and make a decision.

The bipolar role conscience plays in our lives reminds me of two other heavy-hitting emotional players: pride and humility. “It was pride that changed angels into devils,” said Saint Augustine, “it is humility that makes men as angels.”

I can’t remember the last time someone told me I made them proud. I can honestly say I don’t know that I know what pride even feels like. And I can’t say I’m too disappointed about it. With words like greed, envy, and vanity as its relatives, pride is not in good company. What room is there for pride in a life of gratitude?

“Pride slays thanksgiving,” said theologian and social reformer Henry Ward Beecher, “but a humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.”

Pride: Angel or Demon?

In my personal philosophical debate, I’ve had my mind pretty well made up about this thing called pride. But the more I listened to both sides of the argument, I began to piece together a ground-level pride perspective. In the eye of the beholder, pride is not such a negative thing. I aspire to make my mom and dad proud of me, but that doesn’t make me envious or vain. It is a humble plea that originates in my heart. And I am thankful for moments when they smile at something silly I do. Does that make me greedy?

This is one topic on which the angel and devil may compromise.